A filmmaker has been sentenced to six years in prison by a Turkish court for producing a feature film that showed President Tayyip Erdogan having a gun pointed in his head as his family lay dead all around him, the state news agency said.
As a result of the portrayal of the President execution in “Awakened” a movie based on a failed military putsch in 2016 in which more than 250 people were killed, Ali Avci, was arrested in 2017.
The trailer caused public uproar with sequences showing Erdogan’s family, including his son-in-law, Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, shot dead, and an army officer pointing a gun at the back of the president’s head as he prayed.
The court convicted and sent Avci on six years and three months jail term for having affiliations with Fethullah Gulen, a network of U.S.-based cleric, considered to be a terrorist organisation by Turkey.
Gulen has since denied the allegation that he was the sponsor of the coup attempt.
The court said Avci had been carrying out “public perception management in line with the core goals of the terrorist organisation” through his movie.
Avci denied the charges and said Erdogan himself had repeatedly said he was the target of the failed putsch, which included air strikes on the presidential palace in Ankara, although Erdogan was absent at the time.
“If I was trying to make terrorist propaganda, I would have shown Erdogan making plans to flee, instead of the praying scene,” Avci told the court.
After the failed coup that rock the European nation, 150,000 state workers including teachers, judges and soldiers have been suspended or dismissed, while 50,000 others are still on trail and the detention.